AVAILABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF INFORMATION RESOURCES BY STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTION

AVAILABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF INFORMATION RESOURCES BY STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTION

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         CHAPTER ONE

                               INTRODUCTION

1.1      BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The effect of any organization’s operations depends, to a large extent on irritability, management and accessibility of relevant information. Every organization needs information and records that are vital for it operations. These records are of two kinds. The entire which are needed to conduct the day activities, and the erective, which must be filled and retained for or definite number of years are specified by how or organizational poly.

The polytechnic system came into Nigeria in late 1970s came with the idea of providing Nigerians with another level of tertiary institutions besides the university system. This followed the promulgation of Decree no. 33 of 1979. The provisions of the decree, among others, state that the main purpose of the polytechnic education is to produce the middle-level manpower for the nation's economy. These institutions are to engage in research suitable for the development of both human and material resources needed by the nation's industry and economy.

Information according to Ajiboye and Tella (2007), is used primarily for academic purposes. These findings agree with Kakai et.al (2004), when they observed that student’s information-seeking behaviours promote academic excellence. Mabawonku (2005) highlights ways in which students seek for information, which include colleagues, the internet, library, friends, family members, etc. Furthermore, Akinade and Ogunyade (2002) and Onohwakpor (2007) asserted that valuable information to students determines to a very large extent their success and future development. Sequel to this, it is imperative for Academic libraries, which are attached to tertiary institutions to support the Teaching, Learning and Research processes in such institutions. Students, according to Adesina (2003), have been found to be majority of library users in an academic library.

As a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development seeks to strengthen universal peace and freedom. For effective development in any nation there must be peace and freedom, therefore the university library as a knowledge system has a lot to do in the area of information dissemination to ensure peace and freedom for all citizens of the world and to support sustainable development. Sustainable development goals are transformative changes needed to cater for the immediate needs of the present generation without causing harm to the future generation in terms of meeting their own needs. The items which formed the sustainable development goals were carefully selected and included after a wide consultation by the UN. There are seventeen of them. However, this study will be anchored on the fourth goal which is to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (United Nations, 2015). Inclusive and equitable quality education is important for sustainable development. UNESCO (2009) stated that inclusive education is concerned with all learners with focus on those who have traditionally been excluded from educational opportunities – such as learners with special needs and disability and children from ethnic minorities. Stubbs (2008) stated that “inclusive education is a wide range of strategies, activities and processes that are geared towards making the reality of a universal right to quality, relevant, and appropriate, education.” In addition, the paper described learning as a continuous process which takes place in both formal and informal forms. The goal of inclusive education is to create a world of peace, tolerance, sustainable use of resources, and a world where basic needs are met. The need to have ready access to relevant information for improving knowledge is of strategic importance to society (Lakos, 2004). The Internet is expanding fast in response to this, and the amount of digital information available is increasing daily. The importance of information to the success of any academic institution cannot be over - emphasized. Akinade and Ogunyade (2002) ascertain that it is a valuable resource required in any society or an institution to meet its objective. Ready available information to students determines largely their success and future development. Aguolu and Aguolu, (2002) asserts that, the basic tripartite function of any university is to conserve the existing knowledge, to transmit knowledge through teaching, and to create new knowledge through research. There is no doubt that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be a major source of sharing knowledge and information, and they have come to complement physical library resources.

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 

This study looks at availability and accessibility of information resources by students in tertiary institutions. The importance of information to the success of any academic institution should not be underestimated. Ukpanah (2006) affirms that in an academic community, information is used for learning, teaching, research and leisure. Availability of information resources must be distinguished from accessibility. Availability of information sources means ensuring their presence in libraries for immediate use (Aguolu and Aguolu 2002). Learning materials might be available, i.e., the library has acquired them, but inaccessible to those in need of it for whatever reason (uncatalogued, miscataloged, miss helved, etc.). Accessible means that users can identify and use the resources. Both variables have a relationship with the use of library resources.
This study is seeking answer to the following question. 
i. What are the available resources in Federal Polytechnic Library? 
ii. What is the procedure for making the resources available to its user?
iii. What are the problems encountered by users in trying to have access to information resources?
iv. What are the problems encountered in accessing the information resources?

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 
The objectives of the study are to;

i) Determine the various types of information resources available in the Library.

ii) To find out the various forms of information resources in Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library. 
iii) To what extent can the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library improve on the accessibly and availability of information resources to its users.
iv) Proffer recommendation and suggestion on how the problem could be remedied.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION 
1. To what extent can the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library improve on the availability and accessibility of information resources to its users?
2. What are the available materials in the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library? 
3. What are the problems encountered by users in trying to have access to information resources?
4. What do you understand by availability and accessibility of information resources? 

1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library. It focused is on the availability and accessibility of information resources of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library, in achieving the aims and objectives of the student. It covers all the direct services to users. However, the availability and accessibility of information resources, which are the services to users, have been manifested. This project was constrained by the following factors:

Financial Constraints

Bearing in mind the economic state of the nation, it was found difficult in making both ends meet, because of the exorbitant nature of things nowadays in travelling for the collection of data needed for the project.

Time Constraints

Looking at the interval between the resumption and vacation of the final semester for the project to be completed, the time given seemed to be short for the collection of required information for better work to be done.

Non-Availability of Material

During this project, it was noticed that the required materials needed for the project are not documented. Those that were documented lacked storage facilities where they can be reached.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 
The study is essential because it is hoped to provide an insight into availability and accessibility of information resources of Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library (Owerri). It is expected that the findings of this research work will assist students to have access to information in their respective institutions libraries. The findings of this study are expected to be of benefit to students as it will reveal to them the various library resources that are been computerized to enable them carryout effective learning and research. The findings of this study will be of help to lecturers in diverse fields of knowledge by providing access to information related to the topics that would be beneficial to them; also, it will enhance their research outputs. The findings of this study will be of benefit to the public, as it will also help widening their horizon in the knowledge of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) processes in the libraries.

1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Below is the definition of the contextual use of terms in the study
Availability: Is information the Library has in stock that is ready for use.
Information: The collection of processed data for easy retrieval 
Accessibility: Permission or opportunity to use a document. 

Academic Staff: Faculty (in North American usage) or academics (in British usage) are the academic staff of a university: professors of various ranks, lecturers, and/or researchers.

Tertiary: Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education. The World Bank, for example, defines tertiary education as including universities as well as institutions that teach specific capacities of higher learning such as colleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, and distance learning centers. Higher education is taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, while vocational education and training beyond secondary education is known as further education in the United Kingdom, or continuing education in the United States.

1.8 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE CASE STUDY
The Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri was initially established as the college of Technology Owerri by Edict No. 16 dated 1st April 1978. in 1987, it was renamed the Polytechnic by Imo State Government. The Institution was taken over by the Federal Government in April 1993 and is now governed by Federal |Polytechnic Act. The Institution is Located in Nekede about 5Km from the metropolitan capital of Imo State, Owerri. The campus comprises of B. 8 lectures of land. 
The permanent site of the Library is opposite the famous Imo lecture Hall (School of Business). The current building was completed in the year 2000 and commenced services to public in 2001.
The Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library has different sections which include: the technical section (acquisition, classifying and cataloguing) circulation section, Administration leader’s service, serial section and the audio-visual section. It also has the reprographic section which has different machines for the reproduction of Library materials. The library users the library of congress classification scheme which has mixed notation.
The Polytechnic Library stores, a collection of materials relevant to student of the institution teaching and non-teaching staff and people living around Nekede who are carrying out research. Presently, the Library has about 38 staffs.

1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.





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